This paper summarizes a design methodology — Environment Based Design (EBD) — developed over the last two decades. The EBD stems from the observation that design aims to change an existing environment to a desired one by generating a new artefact. Design starts from the environment, functions for the environment, and brings changes to the environment. This environment changing process implies the recursive evolution of design problems, design knowledge, and design solutions. Three basic activities are included in the EBD: environment analysis, conflict identification, and solution generation. In introducing the EBD, four major requirements for an effective design methodology are firstly formulated from the perspective of the nature of design, cognitive model of design, and the driving force underlying design. The mathematical, semantic and algorithmic foundations of the EBD are then presented to define methods and procedures for solving a design problem. Experimental validation and industrial applications are summarized to show the effectiveness of the EBD. Future research questions are also given in the paper.

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